Tooth decay, which is one of the most common dental diseases, occurs in many different ways from childhood to adulthood. Dental caries, which are easy and fast to treat in the early stage, can progress over time and cause permanent tooth loss if not treated. Timely interventions enable the tooth to regain its lost function, so dental caries should be treated without delay.
What is Dental Caries?
Tooth decay, in the simplest definition, is the spaces inside the tooth. The openings and cavities formed on the hard surface of the teeth for various reasons grow and expand over time with the effect of bacteria in the mouth. Consumption of sugary and acidic foods, in particular, increases the likelihood of tooth decay. Many cavities go unnoticed in the early stages as they cause any pain complaints, which means the cavities gain time to grow. Expanding dental caries can reach much more dangerous dimensions by descending to the root of the tooth or spreading to the side teeth.
What are the Symptoms of Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay usually does not cause any symptoms in its initial stages and does not cause discomfort. However, over time, pain and sensitivity may occur in the carious area due to the erosion of the enamel and further damage to the tooth tissue. This sensitivity usually occurs during food consumption and increases the severity of the caries as a result of not being treated. Especially in cases where oral care is inadequate, the risk of growth of existing caries is much higher and may cause the following types of complaints depending on the stage of the problem:
- Unexplained and sudden toothache
- tooth sensitivity
- Teeth discoloration, staining or pitting
- Increased pain and sensitivity when consuming sugary, acidic, hot, cold food or beverage
- bad breath
- Pain when chewing and biting
What Causes Tooth Decay?
There may be more than one reason behind dental caries, but the most basic of them can be listed as the lack of attention to oral care despite the frequent consumption of sugary and acidic foods. Foods containing sugar, carbohydrates and acids accelerate the formation of bacteria in the mouth, causing the cavities in the teeth to decay and grow. In addition, the following conditions also trigger the formation of dental caries:
- Excessive consumption of carbonated drinks
- dry mouth
- Inadequate brushing of teeth
- Not using dental floss
- Not paying attention to tongue cleaning
- Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia
- Not getting enough fluoride
In addition to these, tartar is also one of the causes of dental caries. The tartar, called tartar, creates a shield for bacteria and the growth rate of bacteria increases under these layers. This situation, which worsens over time, causes tooth decay. In addition, due to insufficient oral hygiene, the amount of minerals and bacteria in the saliva may increase and damage the teeth. For this reason, regular dental check-ups are required to maintain complete oral hygiene and health.
How Is Tooth Decay Treated?
There are many different dental caries treatments applied today. The purpose of these treatments is to reverse the loss of intraoral function and to provide oral health to the person. The width, region and severity of the caries in the patient have a shaping effect in the treatment. For this reason, in order to apply the right treatment, the dimensions of the problem should be determined first by using imaging techniques such as x-rays.
Early Caries Treatment
The treatment of caries detected at an early stage is easy and fast. In such cases, the size of the bruises is quite small and the effect is minimal. Therefore, caries detected at an early stage can be removed with a simple fluoride treatment without the need for any filling or root canal application.
The filling method is one of the most frequently applied caries treatments. In this method, first, the dentist cleans the decayed area and empties it, then fills the emptied area with composite material. In this way, the tooth gains resistance again and the complaints of pain and sensitivity in the person are eliminated. Caries detected in a simple and relatively early period can be easily treated with the filling method.
Kron applications are used in the treatment of medium and high level caries. With this method, the teeth are covered with a material produced by taking personal measurements, that is, artificial material is added instead of the original tooth. Before the procedure, the rotten part must be cleaned, then the opening is measured and closed with a preferred material.
Root Canal Treatment
In advanced cases where dental caries cannot be cured by methods such as filling and coating, root canal treatment should be applied. Root canal treatment is an application completed in two stages and aims to save the tooth root. In this process, the nerves are removed to prevent the death of the dental nerves and the teeth are sterilized. After all infections are cleared, the gaps opened are closed with filling material. If necessary, crown applications can also be made on the filling.
Detection of dental caries at an early stage is very important for treatment. Even in cases where caries is treated, there is a risk of recurrence of the problem with low attention paid to oral hygiene. For this reason, oral hygiene should be properly maintained and routine dental check-ups should be continued.